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Lioness: England's Euro 2022 winners urge Tory chief duo to help schoolgirls play football

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England’s European champions have urged Conservative party leadership candidates to allow “all young girls” to play football in schools.

The women’s side defeated Germany 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday to lift their first major trophy.

It was also the first time for England since men won the 1966 World Cup.

In an open letter to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the 23 Euro 2022 members said: “This is an opportunity to make a big difference.”

“It’s a change that will affect the lives of millions of young girls,” they added.

The team emphasized that only 63% of girls are able to play soccer in gym lessons. Campaign for the Football Association (FA)External link Published last year.

They also called for all girls to have access to a minimum of two hours of physical education per week.

According to reports from England Football, which is part of the FA, 44% of secondary schools in EnglandExternal link Provide equal access to football for girls in physical education classes.

A spokesman for Sunak’s campaign said he was inspired by the team and had already said it would begin a review “to ensure that every woman and girl has a chance to participate in the beautiful game.”

A Truss spokesperson said England’s success in the Euros would have a lasting impact on women’s football, and she said “why are preventing schools from offering the recommended minimum of two hours of physical education per week? It said it would investigate.

The Lionesses added: “At the Euro, we, as a team, talked about our legacy and our goal of inspiring our country, although many believe this has already been achieved. , we believe this is just the beginning.

“We are looking to the future. We want every girl in the country to be able to play soccer in school.

“We’ve made incredible progress in the girls’ game, but this generation of schoolgirls deserves more. We want to make their dreams come true, too.”

“We want to bring about real change in this country, and if you become Prime Minister on September 5th, please help us achieve that change.”

The team celebrated their Euro victory in front of 7,000 fans in Trafalgar Square on Monday.

England and Manchester City forward Chloe Kelly, who scored the winning goal against Germany, said the Lioness had set out to “inspire the nation”.

Kelly grew up playing cage football with his five brothers and their friends, and also played for the boys’ school football team and QPR.

“You’ll also want to be in an environment that’s comfortable and big for young girls,” she told BBC sports editor Dan Lawn.

“This summer is going to be a big turning point. Girls, as a group, we want to make a difference and if we can do that, it’s a big thing.”

“Girls who can do what they want, regardless of quality, go hang out.”

Football is the most popular team sport for young people in England, but according to FA research, only a third of girls aged 5 to 18 participate every week.

The Department of Education (DfE) said it was up to schools to decide which sports to offer their students, but should offer “equal activities” for girls and boys.

UK national curriculum is not gender specificExternal link Soccer is mentioned only as an example of sports, alongside other sports such as badminton, cricket and netball.

Figures released by the FA, which runs the LetGirlsPlay campaign to ensure girls have the same access to football as boys in schools and clubs by 2024, said 72% of primary schools had equal access to boys and girls last year. Offered soccer coaching, but this decreased. Only 44% in middle school.

According to the survey, 60% of girls who play soccer in school want to play more, and 91% of girls who don’t, want the opportunity to play soccer.

A DfE spokesperson said: “We fully support the FA’s ambition to have equal access to football for girls in schools and clubs by 2024 and will work closely with them to achieve this. I will continue,” he said.

“We are committed to enabling thousands of girls to participate in physical activity, including our ‘Your Time’ program, which enables thousands of girls ages 8 to 16 to access competitive sports and sports leadership opportunities. We fund activities that support them.”